We are a couple that having been married ‘forever’ we have watched our children grow and leave home to live their own lives. As we aged we had ‘visions’ of us living on a piece of property that would allow us to live comfortably, if not opulently, from our stewardship.
After a lifetime of being nomads (we had moved across country 2 times already…) in 2005 we moved to a 2000+ square foot house in Powder Springs, GA with a hefty (for us) mortgage and a town that was not conducive to our goals… the town thought it was a home owners association for those of us fortunate enough to *not* actually be in one. But, it was ours (well, the banks… but you know what I mean) and we were doing the best we could. We had jobs that afforded us a lifestyle that was comfortable.
Fast forward to 2009: like so many others – life intervened. I lost my job as a corporate travel manager (people stopped traveling unless absolutely necessary, and the company I worked for was bought out by a European company) then shortly after this the company Kem worked for (they worked on small construction equipment – and we all know what happened in that industry) closed the doors. We survived (we always had), but it was far from easy.
Now, fast forward to fall of 2011: I was attending a convention for my newly established travel agency (why not – I know the industry and personal travel is rebounding) when I am run (r)over by a car. It was 100% accident, but to say it changed our lives is possibly the understatement of my lifetime! I was a full time student pursuing 2 degrees and had my travel agency in full swing. Kem had recently joined a company where he now had (fortunately) insurance and a steady income stream. This accident left me with a head injury, PTSD (and the anxiety and depression that comes with it), and multiple follow up surgeries and therapy. I, literally, fell apart.
School suffered because I was no longer able to keep up with the reading and life suffered in general for the severe depressive funk I was in. In early 2013 we made the conscious decision that we could no longer keep the house and moved into a 900 square foot rental house and our journey started anew.
After about a year we received the very small insurance settlement from the accident and began our quest of looking for property. Now, if you have done this – even casually – you know how frustrating and emotionally taxing this can be. We found a couple of places that were within our price range (we were determined to *not* go into debt again), but the market in the north Georgia area is such that investors buy property sight unseen, so they always went to highest and best, and we lost. Just as we were turning our search out of state, I happened upon a piece of land about an hour north of Atlanta – a little farther out than we were anticipating because Kem is continuing at his job, but it seemed to be perfect. Almost 9 acres, outbuildings in place and a habitable structure to live in. We drove up to see it and called our realtor and said put an offer in for asking price. Then the news came “it is going to highest and best” … ugh! I knew placing the offer at asking was at the limit I wanted to spend (especially knowing it needed WORK) so I said – fine, leave it as is and if it is meant to be it is meant to be. Apparently the universe heard me because less than 3 weeks later we were moving in!
I tell you the above, not for your pity; we neither want nor deserve that. It is simply for background to iterate that paths are never as straightforward as we would like.